Jury Issues Mixed Verdict in Michael Baisden’s Copyright Infringement Case

The Wire

michael-baisden1Michael Baisden’s attorneys, Daryl K. Washington and Aubrey “Nick” Pittman, announced on Monday, a jury in Houston Federal Court reached a verdict in the copyright lawsuit filed by nationally syndicated radio and TV personality Michael Baisden.  The mixed verdict allows for the return of Baisden’s copyrighted rights and allows the best-selling author to proceed with upcoming movie and television projects.

In the lawsuit, Baisden claimed damages from past conduct of I’m Ready Productions and Image Entertainment for the unauthorized distribution of DVD’s based on two of his best-selling novels. According to Baisden’s attorneys, I’m Ready Productions filed a counterclaim against Baisden seeking compensation related to a movie based on one of Baisden’s best-sellers that Baisden had originally planned to write and produce.

According to the original lawsuit, I’m Ready argued that it had all rights to the stage-play versions of Baisden’s best sellers, The Maintenance Man and Men Cry in the Dark.  Documents filed in the case also showed that I’m Ready Productions was marketing movie rights to these best sellers and entered into an agreement with Image Entertainment to do a film from one of the stageplays.  In earlier arguments to the Court, the Court rejected I’m Ready’s arguments that it had the right to sell Baisden’s movie rights.   Pittman noted that after the Court denied I’m Ready’s contention, the jury had to decide whether Baisden was entitled to monetary damages from the past conduct of the Defendants.  The jury also had to determine whether I’m Ready Productions was entitled to any compensation from Baisden’s upcoming movie deals on his copyrighted works.  In the end, the jury answered no to both questions.

“I have mixed feelings about the case.  On the one hand I am ecstatic that my copyrighted rights have been returned to me to allow me to proceed with upcoming movie and TV projects without continued interference from Image and I’m Ready Productions,” said Michael Baisden.  “On the other hand, I am disappointed that this jury did not punish the Defendants for their open infringement by awarding monetary damages for their actions.  I have asked my general counsel to proceed with an appeal of the jury’s finding as to the decisions on the past conduct. The fight goes on, but I am excited to now be able to go forward with our movie and TV plans that had been put on hold for the last five years”

Michael Baisden is a recognized best selling author, nationally syndicated radio personality and TV talk show host.  His high-octane energy and love for interacting with his listeners is just one reason for the popularity and success of the number one rated Michael Baisden Show, which is broadcast to over ten million listeners in over 76 affiliate stations across the country.   Baisden is known for spearheading the historic Jena Six March and The Michael Baisden Foundation’s 2010 One Million Mentors National Campaign to Save Our Kids where he spoke in over 72 cities signing up mentors.

For more information on Michael Baisden, go to  http://www.BaisdenLive.com/ or join him at “Michael Baisden Live” on Facebook and “Baisden Live” on Twitter.

Jury Trial Set in Michael Baisden’s Fight to Stop Copyright Infringement

The Wire

michael-baisdenA trial date has been set in a lawsuit filed by best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio and TV personality Michael Baisden.

Documents filed in the lawsuit allege that Defendants I’m Ready Productions, Inc., Image Entertainment, Inc., ALW Entertainment, Inc., Je’Caryous Johnson and Gary Guidry conspired to tour a stage-play without Baisden’s permission and sold DVD’s based on Baisden’s best-selling novels, The Maintenance Man and Men Cry in the Dark, in violation of the Federal copyright laws.

The lawsuit also alleges that I’m Ready Productions and Image Entertainment made millions of dollars using Baisden’s name, likeness and popularity to sell the DVD’s by implying that he was involved in, or endorsed, the distribution.  Baisden did not authorize the sale of the DVD’s.

“This is my day in court in my fight to recover my intellectual property rights and prevent these Defendants from continuing to infringe upon my copyrighted novels,” said Michael Baisden.  “These novels are like my children.  They reflect years of hard work in writing them and promoting them to the level where they became best sellers.  In the end, I hope I can also send a message to other copyright holders that they have a right to take a stand and fight those who are trying to steal their copyrighted works.”

In the lawsuit, Baisden seeks an injunction to prevent the Defendants from any further use of the copyrighted works The Maintenance Man and Men Cry in the Dark. Baisden is also seeking an award of actual damages, enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees for having to institute a lawsuit to stop Defendants’ infringement.  He is represented by noted entertainment lawyers Daryl K. Washington and Aubrey “Nick” Pittman.

Trial is set to begin on February 14, 2011, in Houston, Texas, in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas – Bob Casey Federal Courthouse Court Room 9-B.

Wiley College to celebrate Religious Emphasis Week February 7-11 With Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.

From The Wire

Wiley College will celebrate Religious Emphasis Week February 7-11, 2011, with a slate of community worship services and activities that will be led by three prominent clergypersons, Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., Reverend Otis Moss, III, and Minister Vanessa Winbush Gatlin. Each speaker’s presentation will be inspired by the week’s scripture-focused theme, “The Cross- The Power and Purpose Behind our Praise and Worship.” This theme is based on the scripture 1 Corinthians 1:18, “The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” All events will take place in the Julius S. Scott, Jr. Chapel unless otherwise noted.

Religious Emphasis Week will open Monday night at 6:30 p.m. with a sermon by The Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., who is often called one of America’s most influential religious leaders. Theologian, pastor, and civic leader, Dr. Moss is also one of America’s most sought-after public speakers.
Dr. Moss earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College in 1956, his Masters of Divinity degree from the Morehouse School of Religion and Interdenominational Theological Center in 1959, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Dr. Moss is Pastor Emeritus of Mt. Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, where he formerly served as pastor for 33 years. Prior to his tenure of service at Mt. Olivet, He served as pastor for churches in Georgia and Ohio before serving as co-pastor with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Moss’s ministry can be characterized by one thematic focus – hope, possibilities, and “giving God your best.” He has delivered sermons at numerous institutions of higher education, including Harvard Divinity School, Vanderbilt University, and Meharry Medical College.

Dr. Moss’s formidable intellectual presence and superlative sermons and writings have garnered world-wide attention and honors. He has served as a consultant to President Jimmy Carter at Camp David, and most recently provided the opening prayer for the 56th Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service for the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. He has had facilities named in his honor, one of which is the Otis Moss, Jr. University Hospitals Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Wiley College to celebrate Religious Emphasis Week
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The Reverend Otis Moss, III will speak Tuesday morning in the College’s chapel at 11 a.m. He and his father, Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., will deliver a “tag-team” sermon during the Tuesday morning worship service.

Reverend Moss was cited in Newsweek magazine as one of “God’s Foot Soldiers” committed to transforming the lives of youth. He serves as Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to joining the pastoral staff at Trinity United Church of Christ, Rev. Moss served as pastor of the historic Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia. After his arrival, the Tabernacle was its membership increase from 125 to over 2,100 members.

Rev. Moss received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Morehouse College. He went on to Yale University where he earned a master of Divinity degree with a concentration in Ethics and Theology. While at Yale, he was awarded the Fund for the Theological Education Benjamin Elijah Mays Scholarship in Religion, and the Yale University Magee Fellowship. Rev. Moss is recorded as one of the few African-Americans to ever receive this award in the school’s history.

Rev. Moss has been Adjunct Professor of Voorhees College, and a guest lecturer for Harvard University, Yale University, Dillard University, and Morehouse College. His passion for youth and intergenerational ministry led him to create the Issachar Movement, a consulting group designed to bridge the generation gap within churches and train a new generation of prophetic church leadership. His love for God and young people has led him to speak and preach in churches, seminaries, and colleges across the globe.

Minister Vanessa Winbush Gatlin will lead “Conversations Around the Cross” on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at 6:30 p.m., in the Pemberton Mini-Auditorium, and she will deliver the sermon for the Thursday morning worship service at 11 a.m., in the College’s chapel. Minister Winbush is the Director of Women’s Ministries at Unity Church of God in Christ, in Eunice, Louisiana. She is the First Lady of Unity Church of God in Christ and she also serves as the First Lady for Unity Church of God in Christ in Crowley, Louisiana. She is the director of Victorious Women of God Ministries based in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Minister Gatlin is described as having an intensity in prayer that commands the blessings and the presence of the Lord. She possesses an uncanny boldness to powerfully declare the unadulterated Word of God.

All of the Religious Emphasis Week events are open to the public. Wiley College extends a special invitation to all local clergy to attend. For more information about any of these events, please contact the Office of the Chaplain at (903) 923-2455 or the Office of Public Relations at (903) 927-3384.

In Root.com survey Black Americans Assess Obama After Two Years In Office

The Wire

Readers of The Root.com have already weighed in on their opinions of President Barack Obama just in time for his State of the Union adddress tonight. The Root.com recently released the results of its extensive reader survey gauging how people assess President Obama’s achievements, exactly two years after he took office.

With more than 400 respondents identifying themselves as African-American, the results bring about a clearer picture than ever before of the African-American opinion of Barack Obama, as well as shine a light on the sharp divide between respondents of different races on how they view Obama and the overall racial climate in the country.

Some of the survey findings and data snapshots include:

OVERALL LEADERSHIP

Solid majorities of both blacks (89%) and whites (74%) rated his leadership as either “very effective” or “somewhat effective.” Still, 23% of whites rated the Obama’s leadership as either “somewhat” or “very” ineffective, versus 8% of blacks.

75% of blacks and 62% of whites said that Obama was addressing their needs. 29% of whites said that he was not, compared with just 15% of blacks.

MEDIA AND PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF OBAMA


The media had a stronger impact on how whites see President Obama, compared with blacks. 65% of whites said that their perception of him is influenced by the media, compared with 40% of blacks.

RACISM

Majorities of both blacks and whites agreed (94 percent and 72 percent, respectively) that “racism plays a role in how President Obama is perceived.”  A sharp divergent in perception, just 15 percent of whites believe that hate crimes, police brutality and injustice against African Americans have increased since Obama took office, while 40 percent of blacks say such crimes have increased.

EMPLOYMENT/JOB CREATION

Blacks and whites were nearly in agreement (37.5 percent and 40.6 percent, respectively) that opportunities for jobs and career advancement had improved for African Americans under Obama’s administration, compared with that of President George W. Bush.  However, far more blacks felt negatively about employment opportunities (32 percent) for African Americans under Obama than did whites (18.5 percent).


EDUCATION

3 times as many blacks (12%) as whites (4%) rated education as “important” to them.  4 in 10 in both groups saw either no improvement or a decline in the quality of education as a result of the president’s Race to the Top initiative, although a larger number of blacks than whites (38% versus 24%, respectively) saw some educational gains.


On programs that directly benefit African Americans — a subject that the Obama administration has considered sensitive — a small majority of whites (52%) backed the $850 million package of support for historically black colleges and universities. Of course, black support for this program was significantly stronger (85.6%).


“There are numerous surveys out there regarding the public opinion of Barack Obama, but what The Root’s survey does that sets it apart is hone in on the African-American opinion of our President and the way he’s handling various policies,” said Joel Dreyfuss, managing editor of The Root. “African-American support of Obama will be critical to his re-election campaign in 2012, and this survey identifies where black Americans feel satisfied in his efforts and where the President needs to improve.”


The online survey was conducted online from January 14th through January 16th. Participants were self-selecting. Of the 1,006 participants, 421 identified themselves as African-American; 386 identified as white, 41 indicated that they were Hispanic (which can be of any race); 15 identified as Asian; 58 said they were of mixed racial background; and the rest either indicated another race, no race or did not answer the question.

For more information on the survey results, visit: http://www.theroot.com/views/rating-obama-its-down-black-and-white

Delino DeShields releases statement following DUI arrest

From The Wire

Delino DeShields, Jr released the following statement after being arrested for Driving Under the Influence on Sunday Morning.

“I take the responsibility of being a role model seriously and apologize to my fans and community, who continue to support my family and I during this unfortunate incident. I look forward to putting this matter behind me and sincerely appreciate the respect of privacy during this personal matter.”

Ros-Lehtinen Statement on Anniversary of Haiti Earthquake

From the House Foreign Affairs Committee

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, submitted the following statement for the Congressional Record marking the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti on January 12, 2010:

“January 12, 2010, Haiti was devastated by the most powerful earthquake to strike that nation in over 200 years.  The wave of destruction to follow was unprecedented.  In just 35 seconds, one-third of the country had been directly impacted by the worst natural disaster to ever hit the Western Hemisphere.

“Today, one year later, we mark the somber anniversary of this tragedy and honor those who lost their lives that day.  Remarkably, in the midst of such devastation, the people of Haiti have forged on.

“And yesterday, I was honored to have the opportunity to travel to Haiti and visit with some of these men and women as they work tirelessly to rebuild their lives, their communities and their nation.  I was struck by their enduring resilience and inspired by their perseverance.

“Sustainable recovery in Haiti will depend on strong leadership by the Government of Haiti, a concrete effort to stop corruption, the implementation of accountability and transparency measures, as well as the involvement of the people of Haiti in the design and ownership of their future.  It will also be important going forward that there be a transition away from dependency on traditional U.S. government assistance and instead a renewed focus on innovative public-private partnerships and grassroots, civil society efforts.

“To ensure that U.S. foreign assistance to Haiti remains transparent and effective, I also plan on introducing legislation to that end this Congress, calling for increased and sustained oversight over U.S. funding to Haiti.

“Finally, though the official OAS report has not yet been released, it appears that certain changes will need to be made to ensure that the true will of the Haitian people in electing their future representatives is honored and respected.  The Haitian people deserve a leader who believes in effective, good governance and the rule of law. And it is only in adherence to these principles that Haiti’s recovery may be successful.”

CVS Encourages African Americans To Protect Themselves With A Flu Shot

Dallas South Wire

cvs-logos-10This holiday season, CVS/pharmacy encourages African Americans to give the gift of good health to yourself, your family and your community by getting your seasonal flu shot.  African-Americans have lower influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates compared to the rest of the population and 67%percent of whites received flu shots in the past year compared to 48% of African Americans and 55% of Hispanics.  The CVS/pharmacy “all-in-one” flu shot protects against three of this season’s flu viruses, including H1N1 and the new strain H3N2.  With the majority of influenza cases that can be prevented by receiving the flu vaccine, it is best to get a flu vaccination as early as possible.  The CVS/pharmacy “all-in-one” flu shots are $29.95 and are covered by many insurance plans.
African Americans have many misconceptions about getting the flu shot and do not realize that the seasonal flu can be unpredictable and even healthy people can get seriously ill from the flu.  Approximately 75% of all influenza and pneumonia deaths in African Americans occur among those 65 and over.  Many African Americans also believe that if they get the flu shot, they will get seriously ill.  It is even thought among African Americans that the flu shot administered in retail settings is not of the same quality and standard as the flu shot from their doctor’s office.  None of these myths are true.

“CDC’s new universal recommendation was expanded this year to encourage anyone 6 months of age or older to get a flu shot,” explains well-known medical expert, Dr. Ian Smith and CVS/pharmacy spokesperson.  “The CVS/pharmacy ‘all-in-one’ flu shot is a convenient was to get protected against the flu and a great gift this holiday season to yourself and your loved ones.  It is administered by licensed CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and it is the same flu shot that you would get from your doctor.”

CVS/pharmacy is also offering flu shot gift cards, which is another a great way to give the gift of good health to your loved ones and your community this holiday season.  Flu shot gift cards are $29.95.

Every CVS/pharmacy, as well as all MinuteClinic locations, is providing flu vaccinations this holiday season.  CVS/pharmacy has more than 7,100 stores across the country and there are approximately 500 MinuteClinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide. For more information on the CVS/pharmacy “all-in-one” flu shot or to find a CVS/pharmacy near you, visit www.cvs.com

forplai By Lamman Rucker Natural Bath and Body Care Line Launches with New Website

Dallas South Wire

forplaiTV and film star Lamman Rucker and Koffee and Kompany of Dallas, Texas, have announced the official launch of forplai, the actor’s signature bath and body care line for women, men and couples. The new line features four alluring scents personally selected by Lamman Rucker as a soft yet subtle introduction to intimacy while encouraging a meaningful and daily connection between the mind, body and spirit. Forplai is now available for purchase exclusively on its new website at www.forplai.com.

Forplai is the culmination of a two year journey by Co-Owners and Co-Creators Lamman Rucker and Thai Morrison, Founder of Koffee and Kompany, after they discovered their mutual interest in natural approaches to health and wellness. The result is an innovative paraben-free, color-free, and vegan friendly product line that reflects every facet of Rucker’s sexy, stylish and sophisticated persona.  Each distinct scent will feature a body butter, body scrub and body mist.

lamman-rucker-2Created with exquisite blends of quality ingredients such as avocado oil, walnut shells, mango butter, watermelon seed oil combined with delicate hints of chocolate, caramel, floral and more, forplai products are designed to exfoliate, moisturize and condition the skin. Morrison states, “What makes forplai and other Koffee and Kompany treats so appealing are the exceptional elements and edible-smelling scents that make you desirable.”

The first products to be released from the line are Passion and Purity with the remaining two scents of Peace and Power to debut in 2011. The names of each scent are attention-grabbing affirmations also chosen by Rucker to remind us, with each application, of our inner power, beauty and strength.

“I wanted to create a line for women and men alike that would encourage them to embrace the harmony and divine balance of sensuality and spirituality within all of us,” said Rucker.  “Forplai is an opportunity to not only smell good and feel good, but to also take time to connect with the heavens above and the God in you.”

Photo Credits:
Lamman Rucker: Becky Thurner
forplai by Lamman Rucker Passion and Purity Products: T. Corey Spencer